Osteoporosis and Resistance Training
More than 53 million Americans are at increased risk for bone fracture due to Osteoporosis and an estimated 1.5 million fractures occur annually. These fractures occur in both women and men but most commonly in older women. A fracture of the hip, spine and wrist can be debilitating and at an advanced age, can be difficult to recover from. Furthermore, inactivity due to recovery from a break can have other detrimental health effects causing a difficult health maintenance spiral.
What is Osteoporosis and how can you prevent it?
Osteoporosis by definition is low bone mass causing them to become brittle and more susceptible to breaks. It is a silent disease because there are no signs until a fall or accident causes a bone to break. A way to keep the disease from becoming a surprise is by knowing your bone density. This can be accomplished by evaluating your body composition through advanced scanning.
At the Health Nucleus, we assess your risk for Osteoporosis both through an assessment of your whole genome, and through our advanced clinical imaging. Our Whole Body MRI characterizes body composition such as muscle mass and visceral fat. Lack of muscle mass is a significant risk factor for osteopenia and osteoporosis. For our HNX Platinum clients, an additional DEXA scan is offered, which measures bone mineral density.
You can significantly reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis at any age by:
- Establishing and maintaining a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D
- Evaluating any medications you are taking for their effect on bone density
- Most importantly: exercise
Exercise, more specifically resistance training, has the greatest benefits because it also improves overall health in so many important ways.
In addition to increasing bone density, resistance training improves:
- physical performance
- movement control
- functional independence
- cognitive abilities
- prevention and management of type 2 diabetes
- improving glucose sensitivity
- enhanced cardiovascular health
- reducing blood pressure
- decreasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides
- reducing low back pain
- easing discomfort with arthritis and fibromyalgia
- reverse aging factors in skeletal muscle
What is resistance training and what is the right program for me?
Resistance training is any weight-bearing exercise that provides mechanical stimuli or “loading” on the bones, ligaments and muscles. Resistance training can include everything from walking, running, yoga, weight training and body weight exercises. The key is to choose an activity you enjoy and is the right choice for your current physical condition. If training is too intense initially then you will experience overload which can lead to injury, particularly if you have been fairly sedentary.
Moving your own body weight through natural movements, or functional training, is not only a great way to resistance train but also to make you more capable as you age and function independently. A certified personal trainer is a great resource to evaluate your physical level and to customize a training program that is built for your goals and works with your lifestyle.